BreedELITE driving data-based decisions

Selection: A stud ewe and lamb at Lyndall Park. Image: Supplied.
Selection: A stud ewe and lamb at Lyndall Park. Image: Supplied.

Cameron England has big plans for his sheep farm, Lyndall Park, near Kingston.

The fifth-generation farmer hopes to have his entire flock in the top 10 per cent of Australia when it comes to their fibre production index.

"To get our commercial flock in the top 10 per cent, our entire ram flock will need to be in the top one per cent within three years," said England.

With 16,000 sheep making up the commercial wool growing operation, England's plan to achieve these goals rests upon making better decisions, backed up by better data.

Three years ago, England implemented the South Australian designed and built BreedELITE Sheep System. With electronic identification, pedigree and performance recording software, EID readers and an automated smart drafter, BreedELITE has helped Lyndall Park reduce on human error.

"Prior to testing and measuring in terms of breeding values we didn't really know where we sat," said England.

With the full system installed, BreedELITE is propelling the genetic improvement of England's herd.

"By using the software we have our own mini stud. Beforehand we had to double handle sheep to tag and measure and split them according to how they were going to be utilised throughout their life. Now we can run all the sheep through the auto drafter in a short period and split them for whatever trait we want to."

Already, England has been able to improve the production of his flock and also take advantage of market premiums by drafting his sheep to create a finer line of wool prior to shearing.

Quality: Cameron England classing wool. Photo: Supplied.

Quality: Cameron England classing wool. Photo: Supplied.

BreedELITE has enabled England to match individual sheep to production quantities, rather than grouping sheep by mobs or year groups.

The sheep can then be organised and selected through the auto drafter that organises and weighs the sheep, reducing labour and lowering stress for the sheep.

Using the auto drafter and the BreedELITE software, England is able to select the top 60 to 70 per cent of sheep for a more productive and profitable flock.

"BreedELITE eliminates all human error in terms of having to read tags and numbers and it does it so quickly and efficiently," said England.

Ultimately, the improvements that England has been able to realise with BreedELITE will improve his farm's profitability.

"We want to hit 40 kilograms of clean fleece-weight per hectare of 17 micron wool," he said. "The goals that we have here, on farm, there's no way we could achieve them without using the BreedELITE Sheep System and the software that comes with it."

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